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Sunday, April 8, 2001 -- Charlottesville, VA
Spring AMBS #3 Walnut Creek Park MTB Classic (iPO Event Id#: 3192)
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]

Race Pic
The kids show their stuff
In a dramatic change from last week's muddy and cold conditions, Mother Nature was in a good mood for the Walnut Creek installment of the Atlantic Mountain Bike Series. Temperatures started out on the chilly side for the early race and then kicked it in for the noon start.

There was no need to try and keep moving to keep warm at the staring line-up, as the sun broke through the early morning fog and kept both the spectators and competitors plenty toasty.

Starting in the Men's Pro wave were plenty of big guns, including "Hometown Hero" and Trek rider Paul Buschi, back from his 2nd place finish at the Sea Otter Classic, and also "Juice Guy" Mike Capraro, in his restyled Nantucket Nectars garb. At the gun, the pack took off, with Chad Davis at the front. Buschi was uncharacteristically at the back of the pack with UVA rider Andy Kinley. When asked later what was up with that, the modest and super nice guy replied that "I just didn't want to go that fast at the start". He did know, however that he did want to enter the single track first. Thinking it began at the top of the hill, (where were you at during the pre-race meeting Paul?), he put his legs in gear and was surprised when he saw the trail go into the woods at the middle of the hill. His mistake paid off (this is certainly the kind of mistake you want to have in a race) and he rode through the stream ahead of Mr. Davis. He kept his lead through the race, and also was on the lookout for his parents, Tony and Dorothy, who were attending only their 2nd mountain bike race in Paul's racing career. Completing 2 full laps and crossing the line at 2:11, was Buschi, followed in by Kinley (2:15:09) and then Bryan Ralston (2:16:23)

Race Pic
Carvin' the turn
Starting a few waves back were the Single Speeds, only two riders strong. (where are you Colin and Eric?) Thomas Jenkins, (1:41:27) riding a 34:18 ratio, captured the lead of his race and even managed pass people with multiple gears. He also started out in a leisurely fashion, and then wondered, "why's everybody going so slow?" He found his cruising speed and never looked back, but did manage to always have his tongue sticking out for the camera!

For the women's end of things, there were quite a few familiar faces on the line, as well as plentiful competition today. Kristy Mantz led the Pro Women (1:55:21). And Sue George, (1:58:51) who we were told was responsible for the addition of some sweet single track, pulled in second, followed by Beneline Williams nee Peters (2:10:28).

Race Pic
Pretty dry conditions for a spring race
In a wonderful show of Sport Women, the category was divided into and Open class, as well as a Vet class. Rider Lynn Mannion (1:37:10), always good for a sound bite, would like to point out that she is technically a Master!! And would like to tell other women her age "to put down their knitting and come play outside!!"
Post race consisted of hot and dusty riders lounging in the welcome spring sun, and contemplating a dip in the lake. Awards were given and top finishers could pick from the generous swag.
Stay tuned for the next installment in the series, on the 29th of April, at Greenbriar State Park. For those wondering what to do in the meantime, check out the iPlay schedule of events, or turn out for the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care event over Easter, and give something back to the trails.